When Kyle Bradish took a line drive off his leg on Monday night, setting in motion a chain reaction that saw scheduled Tuesday starter Tyler Wells pitch in relief and scheduled Wednesday starter Kyle Gibson pitch tonight, the last thing I imagined was that the Orioles would call up one of the top prospects at Norfolk to fill in for the Wednesday start.
Friends, Mike Elias has surprised me once again, because a number of reporters including Baseball America’s Geoff Pontes have reported that Grayson Rodriguez, by some reckoning the top pitching prospect in the minors, is being promoted to the big leagues. It’s happening, like in the GIF.
It’s also weird, because why would the Orioles have sent Rodriguez to the minors in the first place if they were going to call him up at the first sign of unexpected April trouble? The assumption a number of fans and media people seem to have made was that this was some kind of cynical service time manipulation thing.
Rodriguez’s promotion here seems to dispel that - though of course, depending on the severity of Bradish’s injury, it’s entirely possible that Rodriguez will head back down to the minors to try to work out the control issues he had in spring training and also his first minor league start. Put all that in air quotes if you’re in that cynical group. This is precisely the kind of Dan Duquette-with-Kevin Gausman kind of jerking around that I’d hoped to not see the Elias-era Orioles do to Rodriguez. I guess we’ll see what happens.
We can worry about tomorrow when it gets here. For tonight, this is the exciting thing that we were all hoping would happen when the Opening Day roster was named. That was delayed for a week. Now, here we are. Assuming Rodriguez is going to make the Wednesday start, because why would they call him up if not to have him start, he will get to make his debut in his home state of Texas when the Rangers starting pitcher is two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. Let’s hope it’s a fun day in Birdland.